Stearns Business Machines: Keyed into the past - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Stearns Business Machines: Keyed into the past

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OCEANSIDE (CBS 8) - Stearns Business Machines has a customer with a common problem.

"I'm afraid of a computer. I'm actually afraid. Everybody in my family has one," one customer said.

Ott Ernst has seen that look of fear before.

"Computers, they have to memorize how do you open it up, what's my password? Forget it, they don't' want to deal with it," Ott said.

For the last 60 years, Ott has been repairing old typewriters manual and electric, and business is booming. Sterns' stock dates back to the 1920s.

"When it comes to changing ribbons, we still have all the supplies," Ott said.

Bringing manual rusted relics back to life is a challenge the German-born mechanic relishes.

"They don't require electricity, power, nothing. They are totally independent from the government," he joked.

These classics echo the tapped-out legacy of a different breed of journalist, when newsrooms whirled in the late afternoon with the sound of a flock of rabid woodpeckers, a cacophony of finger-fueled frenzy.

"The real journalists from the old days, they had the hat on, the cigarette hanging out, a press release stuck on their hat and they were typing on those machines," Ott said.

These days, as information whizzes at us at warp speed, it's nice to know that there's still a place to go where they still respect the old "hunt and peck."

Stearns Business Machines
507 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 433-2100

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